Tag Archives: TV

Weird Things for Which I Am Thankful 2023

First, for all of you who require normalcy, I’ve recorded one everyday reason for thanksgiving: good weather. Here in Indiana, we expect winter, like an obnoxious relative, to blow in during November. Instead, sunshine, moderate temperatures, and glorious fall colors have prevailed. We Hoosiers are suspicious, but grateful.

Image by Leopictures from Pixabay.

Now begins the weird list. I am thankful for:

  • Tangerine peels whirring in my garbage disposal. The fragrance takes me to holidays past when my dad brought home boxes of tangerines.
  • Aisle signs in parking lots. I usually disregard them, but when I do memorize my car’s location and later find it, I experience a major rush.
  • Purple hand towels. They defy even grandchildren’s noblest efforts to stain them.
  • Piano tuners. My very bones scream when a piano tuner pounds and adjusts my keys. As tuners possess sensitive ears too, I salute their bravery in attacking enemy tones.
  • Nearly 340,000,000 Americans who prefer forks and spoons over sporks.
  • Television. Inevitably, some lunatic sports figure or pubescent program convinces me I’m actually rather sane.
  • Black olives, a time-honored family fetish. Children and grandchildren share my taste for them, though my son-in-law attempted to teach his toddler the little black things were bugs. Grandma’s DNA prevailed!
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay.
Image by Milly from Pixabay.
  • Flo, the star of the insurance circuit. If she can wear 1960s eyeliner and blue eye shadow, maybe I will star on TV too!
  • Pennies. A fistful still conjures up a vestige of my childhood Richie Rich feeling when I exchanged pennies for a sucker-bubblegum-Pixie Stix feast.
  • Hundred-calorie bags of popcorn.
  • Big, ugly rubber boots, my best buddies whether mudding through gardens or wading through slop, politely called wintry mix.
  • Rear window heaters and wipers.
Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Finally, I’m thankful for hours in the Atlanta airport, surrounded by 4.72 million other travelers. As I stood in a restroom line, a janitor took charge. When her superhuman ears detected a stall lock’s jiggle, she directed the next woman to it.

Insignificant? No. When 2.36 million women wait in line, two seconds apiece add up. This janitor’s heroics comprised the difference between making our flights and dying of old age in the airport.

Even better: she touched our shoulders and said warmly, “Blessings on you today, honey.”

A little weird.

But sometimes weird blessings are the best.

Image by Prawny from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What weird gratitude comes to your mind?

How to Rationalize Watching a Ballgame

Image by Mahmur Marganti from Pixabay.

My name is Rachael, and I’m a ballgame-aholic. Sports rivet me to the small screen.

Although I was raised with the Midwestern work ethic. My mother scoffed at grown men who wasted time playing games with balls and sticks. When she not only hid the “TV Guide” and sport sections, but dispatched Dad’s recliner to the roof, our family got the message.

My husband’s family, though equally industrious, considered watching ballgames valid and Indiana University basketball sacred.

Consequently, Hubby doesn’t require many ballgame rationalizations, though he sometimes borrows from my vast collection. One favorite: we accuse each other of working too hard, then prescribe couch-potato bliss “to keep our blood pressures down.”

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay.

If this fails, we add respectability with semi-productive activities that don’t detract from the loafing essential to sports viewing.

First, we count the money in our wallets.

Okay, that took four seconds. What next?

We fold Hubby’s brown and black socks. He does this on autopilot, and I rarely bother to separate the two, so we can focus on the game.

Hubby polishes shoes. If the score’s tied in the final minutes, the difference between black and brown also escapes him. But my flip-flops look really shiny.

Image by James DeMers from Pixabay.

I consider cleaning my handbag. But what will emerge from its mysterious depths? A penny with two Lincolns might make us rich. However, a 50-year-old photo of an old boyfriend might distract us from the important business at hand.

Picking dead leaves off plants qualifies as a ballgame pastime, unless teams play overtimes. I enjoy the excitement, but bald plants do not.

Manicures, pedicures and ear-hair-trimming sessions also work, though they necessitate similar caution.

Hubby and I sort through cassette tapes and vinyl albums. We cannot bear to part with any of them, so such endeavors provide pleasant diligence without accomplishing anything.

Some couples file tax receipts, answer emails, or alphabetize canned goods while viewing a ballgame. Some have the effrontery to exercise. They even claim this is quality couple time.

Quality time? My husband and I snuggle, cheering our teams, snarling at referees, consoling and/or celebrating with hugs, smooches and buttery popcorn.

After 48-plus years of watching ballgames together, we know how to do quality time.

It’s the best ballgame rationalization ever.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you rationalize watching ballgames?

Don’t Do This During a Storm

Image by sethink from Pixabay.

Television weather experts give us blow-by-blow advice, yet anyone knows that when lightning rips the sky apart, watching TV is risky. While tornadoes flatten Starbucks nationwide, viewers plaster noses to TV screens. They may fry or be blown to Oz, but they’re informed.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.

Once aware of severe weather, we should stop watching weather experts.

They never tell us that.

The bold sit outside, counting lightning hits in their yards. Some attempt the photo that will appear on TV. News flash: Lightning may agree to a selfie with you, but you won’t like the results. Storm chasers may not enjoy making its acquaintance, either.

Image by No-longer-here from Pixabay.

Did you know that according to The Weather Channel, men are six times more likely to be struck by lightning? Wives insist it’s because they never put their dirty socks in the hamper. However, the article ( https://weather.com/health/news/lightning-kills-more-men-women-20130805) suggests men’s favorite leisure activities — fishing, boating, camping, golf and soccer — make them favorite targets.

Ladies endanger themselves for social reasons, e.g., talking on landlines during thunderstorms. Determined brides risk lighting up entire wedding parties like marquees. And let mere funnel clouds change their romantic venues? Never!

I’ve avoided most feminine scenarios. However, Hubby, who preaches togetherness while camping, ensures that I get up close and personal with storms.

Image by Ralph’s Fotos from Pixabay.

Once, while setting up camp as lightning sizzled around us, he yelled, “Hold up those tent poles. Higher. Higher!”

Maybe he’d taken out life insurance on this human lightning rod?

A tip for grandparents: don’t babysit during storms, as what worked in “The Sound of Music” won’t work for you. Grandkids won’t sing “My Favorite Things.” They will not sleep. You won’t, either.

Their snickering parents, miles away, will.

Finally, while God may not take offense to references about His moving furniture in heaven or bowling with angels, we probably shouldn’t yell at Him, as Lieutenant Dan did in “Forrest Gump.” Again, what worked for Gary Sinise might not work off film.

The Psalms state that God rides the wings of the storm. His improvement on a roller coaster?

While He grants weather experts ingenuity to guard our safety, God doesn’t plaster His nose to the TV to receive Doppler reports. He can calm the worst storm with “Peace, be still,” (modern translation: “Knock it off!”).

I’ll always consult Him first.

Image by Felix Mittermeier from Pixabay.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: How do you react to storms?

Commercials Then and Now

My husband and I view a television program for a grand total of 63 seconds before a carrot chorus line high-kicks across the screen. Then an older couple, whose idea of a good time has deteriorated to shivering in separate bathtubs, teeter on a cliff’s edge.

One ad (guess which one) strikes me as mildly funny. I chuckle.

“You’ve seen that a hundred times.” Hubby rolls his eyes.

“I have?” I prod my memory. Zero recall.

“You never pay attention to commercials.” He makes this sound downright un-American.

I resent the slam on my patriotism. Plus, he’s dead wrong. I remember lots of commercials — except they belong to a different era.

Decades ago, Captain Kangaroo lauded Wonder Bread, which built strong bodies 12 ways. Captain K. always celebrated my birthday with a big cake. He reminded me to say my prayers. So, when the Captain told me to ask Mom to buy Wonder Bread, I did. But Mom said it was expensive. Gasp! How could she flout the wisdom of Captain Kangaroo?

She gave in, however, to lovable hucksters who taught thousands of children — including my husband and me — to spell “Nestlé” before they could spell their own names. Danny, a ventriloquist dummy, sang, “N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestlé’s makes the very best—” and Farfel the dog chimed in, “Choc’-late!” with a loud snap of his jaws. Good stuff.

Even black-and-white TV couldn’t diminish the Ali Baba richness of Kenner’s Sparkle Paints. Not only would Sparkle Paints pictures glitterize and glamorize my room, they would magically protect me from arithmetic, besides bringing about world peace.

I received Kenner’s Sparkle Paints as a gift! But my attempts — plops, glops, and slops of paint — resembled nothing on TV. Since Russian Premier Nikita Krushchev still banged his shoe on podiums and yelled during other commercials, Sparkle Paints didn’t accomplish world peace, either.

Although now a child cynic, I still enjoyed commercial jingles, including Speedy the Alka-Seltzer® mascot’s “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is.” And I, along with a gazillion other schoolchildren, wished we were Oscar Mayer wieners.

Medical commercials, however, caused me concern. I didn’t know what Preparation H® treated, but it had to be life-threatening because when I asked Dad, he didn’t want to talk about it.

Some commercials embarrassed me. I wished Mr. Whipple and his friends, who squeezed Charmin toilet paper in public, would disappear.

Nowadays, though, with Victoria’s Secret models joining the TV carrot chorus line and Vagisil/Viagra enthusiasts telling me much, much more than I want to know, I tend to veg, remembering only commercials of yesteryear.

Never thought I’d say this, but Mr. Whipple, I really miss you.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What’s your favorite commercial? Your un-favorite?

A Ballgame-aholic Confesses All

My name is Rachael, and I’m a ballgame-aholic.

Football, baseball and basketball rivet me to the small screen.

But Mom raised me with a Midwestern work ethic, scoffing at grown men wearing silly clothes who played with balls and sticks. When she hid the newspaper’s sport section and dispatched Dad’s recliner to the roof, we kids got the message.

My husband’s family, though equally industrious, considered viewing ballgames valid — and Indiana University basketball sacred.

Consequently, Steve requires fewer rationalizations than I, but he sometimes borrows from my vast collection.

Our favorite: we accuse each other of working too hard, then prescribe couch-potato bliss as a mutual health measure. “A little R & R will keep our blood pressures down.”

If this fails to stem coulda-shouldas, we add respectability with semi-productive activities that don’t detract from the loafing so essential to sports viewing.

We count our money.

Okay, that sufficed for three seconds. What next?

  • I clip coupons, which borders on constructive. However, I’ll lose the coupons in my black-hole handbag, only to have them magically reappear in an underwear drawer — one day  after they expire.sockscrazy
  • We fold Hubby’s brown and black socks. He does this on autopilot, and I rarely bother to separate the two, so we can focus on the game.
  • My husband polishes shoes. If the score is tied in final quarter, the difference between black and brown also escapes him. But my flip-flops look really shiny.
  • Dead-heading plants qualifies as a mildly useful ballgame pastime unless I translate the teams’ picking off passes to picking off flowers. I enjoy getting carried away, but my bald plants do not.
  • Manicures, pedicures and ear-hair-trimming sessions also work — with a similar warning.
  • Steve and I sort through cassette tapes and vinyl albums. We cannot part with any, resulting in pleasant diligence without actually accomplishing anything.
  • We made jelly — once. With all the washing, sieving, and stirring, this pastime lurks perilously close to true fruit-fulness. But if we, mesmerized by attempts to steal home plate, do not add enough pectin or sugar, we risk producing 47 jars of thin, pucker-y grape ice cream sauce.

steverachaelsportsOur best rationalization? Steve and I snuggle, cheering our teams on, snarling at referees, consoling and/or celebrating with hugs, smooches and buttery popcorn.

After 41-plus years of viewing ballgames together, we know how to do quality time. And it’s the best ballgame-watching rationalization ever.

Okay, what’s your favorite excuse?